R-Squared Energy Blog

Pure Energy

Is This Piling On?

Palin for President in 2012? I think not. Per Fox News, Sarah Palin didn’t know that Africa was a continent, nor did she know that NAFTA was comprised of the U.S., Mexico, and her neighbor Canada. Fox sat on the story until the day after the election:

This came from the McCain campaign, so it could be sour grapes. But if true, it also speaks to McCain’s vetting process and his judgment.

November 6, 2008 Posted by | John McCain, Sarah Palin | 90 Comments

Is This Piling On?

Palin for President in 2012? I think not. Per Fox News, Sarah Palin didn’t know that Africa was a continent, nor did she know that NAFTA was comprised of the U.S., Mexico, and her neighbor Canada. Fox sat on the story until the day after the election:

This came from the McCain campaign, so it could be sour grapes. But if true, it also speaks to McCain’s vetting process and his judgment.

November 6, 2008 Posted by | John McCain, Sarah Palin | 15 Comments

McCain Losing It

I have held my tongue this week, but the McCain/Palin tactics are starting to really disgust me. I have been scratching my head and asking myself what has happened to this man. I once admired him. I wanted to see him beat Bush in 2000. Now I wonder if it’s just that my views have changed so much, or whether he was ever the person I thought he was. (For a real hatchet-job that says he was never the man I thought he was, see the new Rolling Stone article: John McCain, Make-Believe Maverick ).

Christopher Buckley, the son of the late William F. Buckley, says McCain has changed:

A Buckley endorses Obama

Buckley, who praised McCain in a New York Times Op-Ed earlier this year and defended the Arizona senator’s conservative credentials against wary talk-radio hosts, said McCain is no longer the “real” and “unconventional” man he once admired.

“This campaign has changed John McCain,” Buckley wrote. “It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget ‘by the end of my first term.’ Who, really, believes that?

“Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis,” Buckley added. “His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?”

I would add to that the crazy mortgage scheme he proposed at the most recent debate, which has some conservatives up in arms:

McCain faces conservative backlash over mortgage plan

(CNN) – John McCain is facing a fresh round of anger from members of his own party deeply opposed to the Arizona senator’s proposal for the federal government to purchase troubled mortgage loans.

In a sharply worded editorial on its Web site Thursday, the editors of The National Review — an influential bastion of conservative thought — derided the plan as “creating a level of moral hazard that is unacceptable” and called it a “gift to lenders who abandoned any sense of prudence during the boom years.”

But he lost my vote the day he put Palin on the ticket. Any thought I had of voting for the man went out the window as soon as I heard that. As I said at the time, I don’t think she is qualified (and subsequent events have only reiterated my original opinion). I think his choice of her put politics ahead of country.

On the other hand, I don’t think Obama has a solid energy plan. Someone told me recently that his energy advisors are primarily environmentalists, but not energy experts. If true, that means his energy policy will contain a lot of unrealistic ‘solutions.’ I have a hard time embracing an energy policy that consists of “Fund X, mandate Y, and tax the devil out of the oil companies.” I just haven’t figured out how that last bit is going to help secure additional energy supplies.

I have held steady in my prediction that Obama will win the presidency (although that doesn’t mean I am voting for him). I predicted it to my father-in-law following the Iowa caucus, and have repeated that prediction several times here. But I have to give credit to my wife on this one, who predicted it following his speech at the Democratic National Convention four years ago.

However, I think there is a good chance that the winner of the election will only serve one term. They are going to govern through a very difficult four years, and two years in they will be catching a lot of the blame for not fixing a set of very vexing problems. I think they will preside over escalating energy prices, which will cause the economy to continue to struggle. And if Obama is elected as I expect, I think he is likely to make some serious missteps when oil prices spiral higher, exacerbating the problem.

October 12, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, John McCain, politics, Sarah Palin | 328 Comments

McCain Losing It

I have held my tongue this week, but the McCain/Palin tactics are starting to really disgust me. I have been scratching my head and asking myself what has happened to this man. I once admired him. I wanted to see him beat Bush in 2000. Now I wonder if it’s just that my views have changed so much, or whether he was ever the person I thought he was. (For a real hatchet-job that says he was never the man I thought he was, see the new Rolling Stone article: John McCain, Make-Believe Maverick ).

Christopher Buckley, the son of the late William F. Buckley, says McCain has changed:

A Buckley endorses Obama

Buckley, who praised McCain in a New York Times Op-Ed earlier this year and defended the Arizona senator’s conservative credentials against wary talk-radio hosts, said McCain is no longer the “real” and “unconventional” man he once admired.

“This campaign has changed John McCain,” Buckley wrote. “It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget ‘by the end of my first term.’ Who, really, believes that?

“Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis,” Buckley added. “His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?”

I would add to that the crazy mortgage scheme he proposed at the most recent debate, which has some conservatives up in arms:

McCain faces conservative backlash over mortgage plan

(CNN) – John McCain is facing a fresh round of anger from members of his own party deeply opposed to the Arizona senator’s proposal for the federal government to purchase troubled mortgage loans.

In a sharply worded editorial on its Web site Thursday, the editors of The National Review — an influential bastion of conservative thought — derided the plan as “creating a level of moral hazard that is unacceptable” and called it a “gift to lenders who abandoned any sense of prudence during the boom years.”

But he lost my vote the day he put Palin on the ticket. Any thought I had of voting for the man went out the window as soon as I heard that. As I said at the time, I don’t think she is qualified (and subsequent events have only reiterated my original opinion). I think his choice of her put politics ahead of country.

On the other hand, I don’t think Obama has a solid energy plan. Someone told me recently that his energy advisors are primarily environmentalists, but not energy experts. If true, that means his energy policy will contain a lot of unrealistic ‘solutions.’ I have a hard time embracing an energy policy that consists of “Fund X, mandate Y, and tax the devil out of the oil companies.” I just haven’t figured out how that last bit is going to help secure additional energy supplies.

I have held steady in my prediction that Obama will win the presidency (although that doesn’t mean I am voting for him). I predicted it to my father-in-law following the Iowa caucus, and have repeated that prediction several times here. But I have to give credit to my wife on this one, who predicted it following his speech at the Democratic National Convention four years ago.

However, I think there is a good chance that the winner of the election will only serve one term. They are going to govern through a very difficult four years, and two years in they will be catching a lot of the blame for not fixing a set of very vexing problems. I think they will preside over escalating energy prices, which will cause the economy to continue to struggle. And if Obama is elected as I expect, I think he is likely to make some serious missteps when oil prices spiral higher, exacerbating the problem.

October 12, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, John McCain, politics, Sarah Palin | 224 Comments

Revisiting Palin

On Sarah Palin as McCain’s choice for VP, I came out immediately and said that it was a mistake. I wrote in part:

Count me among those stunned by McCain’s pick for his VP candidate. It neutralizes the strongest argument he had against Obama: Not enough experience. Never again can he utter these words. Further, I can’t comprehend her as president (and with McCain’s age, I think we would have a fair chance of seeing that happen). I think the job is over her head, and I have witnessed the carnage several times when people step into a job over their heads. Imagine letting a first year medical school student do your heart transplant, and you start to get the picture.

After watching a couple of interviews with her, I think she has validated my claims that the job is over her head, and in my opinion the pick has turned into the disaster I anticipated. The spectacle has become a national joke, and I know people who turned away from McCain as a result. (I also know people who initially embraced the move as brilliant). There are even conservative commentators suggesting Palin step down for the good of the party. I certainly questioned his judgement after the pick, and I questioned it again after his bizarre campaign suspension to deal with a crisis that he had downplayed just a couple of weeks earlier.

Our political process makes me nearly ill. I want a candidate who doesn’t pander (like Obama does with his energy policy) or make decisions that are purely political, but not in the best interest of the country (Palin as VP). Both major parties represent parts of who I am, but they also represent parts that are 180 degrees from who I am. That’s why I often find myself ripping into both parties. That’s also why the Democrats often accuse me of being a Republican and the Republicans often accuse me of being a Democrat. Each side tries to define me on the basis of what I oppose. If I am against Obama’s energy pandering, I am a right-wing conservative. If I criticize McCain’s bizarre behavior of late, I am to the left of Ted Kennedy. (I am in fact very centrist in my politics, but I have areas in which I swing right and areas in which I swing left).

The truth is, I think our current political system is broken. It rewards lobbyists and special interests. The candidate who can most convincingly tell the biggest majority what they want to hear is the one who wins. It shouldn’t be like that.

So, do the Republicans here stand by Palin? Do the Democrats think Obama has given sufficient details on how we would accomplish his objectives? (As regular readers here know, I have some big problems with the energy policies of both candidates, but I think McCain’s takes a more realistic view of our energy situation).

September 30, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, energy policy, John McCain, politics, Sarah Palin | 464 Comments

Palin a Friend of Big Oil?

Count me among those stunned by McCain’s pick for his VP candidate. It neutralizes the strongest argument he had against Obama: Not enough experience. Never again can he utter these words. Further, I can’t comprehend her as president (and with McCain’s age, I think we would have a fair chance of seeing that happen). I think the job is over her head, and I have witnessed the carnage several times when people step into a job over their heads. Imagine letting a first year medical school student do your heart transplant, and you start to get the picture.

I have also heard several people today refer to her as a friend of Big Oil. Ha! She has been called the Hugo Chavez of Alaska for her approach to oil companies (particularly her threats to tear up existing contracts). A story from CNN today explains:

Palin also raised taxes on oil companies after Murkowski’s previous tax regime produced falling revenues in 2007, despite skyrocketing oil prices. Alaska now has some of the highest resource taxes in the world. Alaska’s oil tax revenues are expected to be about $10 billion in 2008, twice those of previous year. BP says about half its oil revenues now go to taxes, when royalty payments to the state are included. Earlier this week, Palin approved gas tax relief for Alaskans, and paid every resident $1,200 to help ease their fuel-price burden.

Sure, she favors drilling in ANWR, but a friend of Big Oil? Please. A recent story in the Anchorage Daily News referred to her as “an anti-oil, tax-and-spend liberal with a nice smile and a pretty face.” With her on the ticket, now 3 of the 4 presidential/vice-presidential candidates are openly hostile to oil companies.

I have written about Palin previously, specifically highlighting the Hugo Chavez comparison (not that I originated it):

The Alaskan Gas Pipeline Controversy

I know some disagree (in fact, some of my closest friends – Republicans and Democrats – think the pick is brilliant), but I think after the dust settles this looks like Dan Quayle all over again. People are going to seriously question McCain’s judgment over this. The most important question to ask when picking a vice-presidential candidate is – Is this person ready to be president?

Of course Bush Sr. did get elected with Quayle on the ticket…

August 30, 2008 Posted by | Hugo Chavez, oil companies, politics, Sarah Palin | 1,018 Comments